Q & A > Question Details
We have a sour water stripper which is used for stripping produced water coming with crude. There is a filter ahead of the stripper. Both the stripper and filter suffer from sticky asphaltene creating operating problems. We are talking to chemical vendors who claim they can inhibit asphaltenes from depositing on the filters and the packing. The filter is actually a strainer with .0.99 mm mesh to keep out particles greater than about 1mm. Are there any other methods which can solve this problem?
25/04/2008 A: Mike Watson, Tube Tech International Ltd, mike.watson@tubetech.com
There are various "soap" wash biodegradeable chemicals around that would help if circulated when offline.
24/04/2008 A: Egbert van Hoorn, Hocon B V, Egbertvh@hotmail.com
Fouling of a sour water stripper is a frequent occurring problem. This fouling can occur in the stripper itself or in the filter ahead of the stripper.
We have some doubts if this is really related to asphalthenes. The most common fouling is normally due to FeS (Iron Sulphide) in combination with hydrocarbons. The best way to deal with this fouling is to try to minimise the hydrocarbon contamination upstream.
This means that you need to have a properly sized flash vessel (20 minutes residence time) to flash off light hydrocarbons and you need to have a buffer tank to store the water for a longer time (24-72 hours).
This should help to minimise hydrocarbons going to your sour water stripper.